Spiritual Values, Sustainable Security, and Conflict Resolution

Authored by: Jamie Price , Andrea Bartoli


Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415667449
eBook ISBN: 9780203102312
Adobe ISBN: 9781136239328


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A current problematique in security studies centers on the relevance of religion to sustainable global security (see for example Wellman and Lombardi 2012). Over the past decade, the field of conflict resolution has increasingly acknowledged the positive contributions that religion can make to security. This development has focused significant attention on the practical and/or theological dimensions of religious peacemaking—e.g., faith traditions as resources for peace-making; faith-based actors serving as mediators and citizen diplomats in conflict situations; or faith-based actors facilitating reconciliation processes in post-conflict situations (Coward and Smith 2004; Johnston 2003; Philpott 2006; Gopin 2009). However, conflict resolution is not an intrinsically faith-based discipline. Its fundamental goal is to develop an explanatory account of conflict that makes it possible to resolve and heal particular instances of it. As such, the question that arises concerning the religion–security problematique is not only whether religion is relevant to sustainable global security (regarding which a consensus is emerging), but how scholars and scholar practitioners are to understand and explain this relevance—an explanatory analysis that would not only address faith-based contexts, but any context in which the healing and reconciling activities associated with spiritual values is found to occur.

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